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Barangay Ginebra again tweaked a little its lineup, hoping the move alters the team’s diving
The Kings play their first game after acquiring promising rookie center Yousef Taha from Air21,
taking on the Globalport Batang Pier in a rematch in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at the
Cuneta Astrodome Friday.
At 2-5 halfway through the elims, everyone in the Ginebra camp asserts it’s time to show
Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit.
And the Kings are hoping Taha, a trade acquisition in exchange for veteran point guard Mike Cortez,
provides some boost.
“Admittedly, the guys are down, but it’s human nature since we’re losing. But these things
happen. It tests your character. Nasasayo iyon kung lalabanan mo ang challenge o aayaw ka na
lang,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Mark Caguioa and the rest of the Ginebra gang have made a commitment to fight the adversity though
they know it’s not easy with their lineup plagued by health problems by Kerby Raymundo, Jayjay
Helterbrand, Alein Maliksi and Dylan Ababou.
Ababou is out probably for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
“Badly crippled. That’s really our situation now. But we are Ginebra with our never-say-die
spirit,” said Tanquingcen, trying to remain hopeful though his team has never won a game in nearly
a month or since getting to a 2-0 season start.
“I’m concentrating on finding ways to make it easier for the players. We’ve made adjustments
where more players are involved,” Tanquingcen also said. “Minsan kasi kayod marino na si Mark
(Caguioa) and LA (Tenorio).”
The Kings try their new scheme in their 7:30 p.m. rematch with the Batang Pier.
Caguioa, Rico Maierhofer, Billy Mamaril, Rudy Hatfield and rookies Keith Jensen and Chris Ellis all
scored in double digits as the Kings walloped the Batang Pier, 110-90, in the season-opening game.
The Kings utterly dominated the Batang Pier even with hotshot Gary David in there.
Globalport is in a deeper bind at 1-7 but the Batang Pier themselves are not losing hope.
“We’re improving. Dati first three quarters lang kami nakaka-compete, ngayon 47 minutes na. We
have just to figure out how to close out the game,” said Globalport coach Glenn Capacio.
The Batang Pier lost their last three games by four points or less. (SB)
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